Car insurance. It's an expensive headache and you have to have it. But what tips can the pros give to keep those premiums down?
Stolen off your drive using keyless devices, vandalised by some jealous little scroat, set alight by some dodgy wiring, driven into a ditch with over-ambitious driving, sat upon by a hefty model at a car show... the list of car owning nightmares is long.
That's when you might be happy you had it insured well, even if the premium you paid brought a tear to your eye. Realising that MAXERS are either returning to modified car world or are early learners keen to get themselves in a unique motor, we decided to find out just what the deal is with insurance in 2020. And who better to ask than Adrian Flux, the long-time supporters of Max Power and self-proclaimed modified car specialists!
Hello Mr Flux (That's not actually his name - Millsy), so what modifications are considered the biggest risk by insurers nowadays?
For non-specialist insurers a welded diff, nitrous oxide conversions, a roll cage, stretched tyres and engine chipping would be considered the biggest risks. Those modifications might even mean a regular insurance company couldn’t even provide a quote. On the other hand we see the modified enthusiast as a reduced risk, someone who knows and looks after their car.
How do insurance companies view things like air suspension?
For standard insurers air suspension would result in a “no quote”. Again, for us, it’s just another mod and we don’t see it as a greater risk.
Is there anything that makes insuring a modified classic like a 205 GTI or Renault 5 GT Turbo cheaper than a more modern modified car?
Modified classics are cheaper to insure anyway, regardless of modifications. However, there are no specific modifications that will bring the premium down, but a specialist insurer such as ourselves will be able to provide a very competitive quote.
Is it true that insurers could invalidate your insurance if you have a sticker on your car that you haven't declared?
Technically an insurer could refuse to pay out on the damage on your car in the event of an accident but can’t refuse the third party liability. There were reports in the press about this but we aim to be sensible about things and it is incredibly unlikely that a car sticker would have any bearing on your claim. If in doubt – tell your insurer.
Which hot hatches are most disliked by insurers — apparently keyless theft makes some hot hatches a bit of a nightmare?
I wouldn’t say any particular hot hatch is disliked by an insurance broker, though one or two do present rather more of a challenge, but we like a challenge! At the moment one challenge is presented by the keyless sporty Fords and the Volkswagen Golf R. These are highly desirable to thieves and easy to pinch if you have a relay device.
Do you have any tips on how to insure your daily car and your project car with the best value deal? Is it just a case of searching for the best deal on each separately?
In these circumstances you might find that a discounted multi-car policy, like the ones offered by Adrian Flux, is best for you. If you don’t go for that you should go for your specialist for the project car and regular insurer for your daily runaround. At Adrian Flux we can do both as a multi-car deal or separately.
Are cars fitted with body kits that aren't available off the shelf any more (like a Dimma wide-arch kit) an insurance headache waiting to happen?
Not at all. It simply means they get written off more easily rather than being replaced. But in reality the claim ratio on this type of vehicle is so low that it is not a worry.
Are there any specialist schemes for totally custom modified cars?
We have a number of specialist custom car schemes, schemes that you wouldn't hear about if you went for an online quote. Call and speak to an expert who will be able to come up with a policy to suit your exact needs.
And what happens in the case of a crash - do they get automatically written off or is there potential for insurance to pay to repair to the same standard as before?
No, they won’t automatically get written off. Our schemes will try to replace or pay cash alternatives for the parts covered. In the event of a total loss the owner has the salvage
retention rights (when possible) so they can have the car back, subject to a reduction in the claim amount. They could then rebuild if they wish. Agreed value ensures they get the fairest amount back.
Does being over 30, married, with children and a house work in your favour when insuring a modified car?
The over 30s will get a discount if they have driving experience. It’s your experience that provides the biggest discount rather than age. Being married won’t provide much of a discount these days, nor does having children. Being older could bring your premium down because the older you are the longer you will have likely held your licence and the more no claims bonus you may have built up.
Thanks to Adrian Flux for the tips. Give them a bell on 0800 369 8590 if you want a no obligation quote on your Max'd motor.